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In the state of California, there are a number of services that only a licensed Professional Surveyor is allowed to provide, specifically those related to the location of property boundaries. If you need a boundary survey, only a Professional Land Surveyor is qualified to stamp a boundary survey map and get it recorded with your local agency.

Professional Land Surveyors are educated in boundary law and are governed by the regulations outlined in the Professional Land Surveyor’s Act and the Rules of the Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. Essentially, these rules are designed to protect the public (you) and your property by defining the scope of practice and license requirements for professional land surveyors.

Unfortunately, not all surveyors follow the rules. In my experience, when talking with prospective clients there always seems to be someone willing to do the job for less. It seems that more and more surveyors are inclined to cut corners and violate the PLSA and/or the Board Rules in order to stay competitive, which can get them into trouble and put your property at risk. If you encounter a low bid for a boundary survey, beware.

In today’s litigious society, it’s critically important that your boundary survey is done by a Licensed Professional Surveyor and that they are following the rules governing Land Surveying in the state of California. Before hiring a surveyor, do your research. Click here to check if your land surveyor is licensed and in good standing with the Board.

Don’t let this happen to you

If the surveyor you hire violates the rules and files a map that is flawed or incomplete, your property may be deemed “unmarketable.” What constitutes a marketable title has been widely defined by the California courts. “Unmarketability” claims may be brought by an insured in many contexts, including:

  • An encroachment, easement, or disputed boundary location;
  • Incorrect parcel descriptions;
  • Unresolved conflicts between two surveys;

Any of these can cause major headaches for a property owner, including project delays, the inability to sell or occupy your property and costly legal fees.

When hiring a land surveyor, it’s important to do your research. Every survey is unique to the individual property and the cost of a survey depends on many factors which can vary by dozens of project-specific details. A Professional Land Surveyor with the right experience and expertise can help you navigate the complicated process of determining your boundary. (See: 5 questions to ask a land surveyor before hiring them to survey your property.)